ULSTER Unionist MLA Tom Elliott has received backing from party leader Mike Nesbitt in his call for Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness to be questioned by police on what he knows about the IRA’s past, including the Enniskillen bombing.
The Fermanagh-south Tyrone MLA believes the families of those killed or injured during the Troubles “deserve answers to those aspects of the past that directly affected them”.
And, speaking in Enniskillen yesterday, UUP leader Mike Nesbitt said: “If there is credible evidence against Mr. McGuinness then he should be questioned”.
But Mr. McGuinness has told The Impartial Reporter that he has no information on the 1987 atrocity which killed 11 people and injured 63 and said “people like Tom Elliott need to wise up”.
Mr. Elliott made his comments on the Deputy First Minister after Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams was released without charge from police custody following four days of questioning in relation to the abduction, torture and murder of west Belfast mother-of-ten Jean McConville in 1972. Mr Adams has repeatedly denied any involvement.
“It shouldn’t matter if the people who could provide this information are senior politicians,” Mr. Elliott told this newspaper. “A number of current senior political representatives, especially many in Sinn Fein were active members of the IRA, I’m sure that at least some of them have very specific knowledge and information of incidents during the Troubles.
“If Martin McGuinness was an IRA Commander in the north west then he should be questioned about incidents carried out by the IRA during that time. If that includes incidents like the Enniskillen bomb then those people who can provide information relative to the case should be questioned. Victims and their families, along with the wider public deserve this information. No-one should be immune from providing the information,” he said.
Mr. Nesbitt said: “Indeed, if there is more than credible evidence, if there is a case, he should be taken to court, he should be tried - absolutely. Nobody is above the law,” he said, adding: “Tom and I would say that the police and the criminal justice system are at the heart of how we deal with the past and that means people who should be questioned should be questioned.” But Mr. McGuinness described the remarks as “political opportunism of the worst kind” and denied - again - knowing anything about the Enniskillen bombing.
Speaking at a Sinn Fein rally in west Belfast, chaired by Fermanagh-south Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew, the Deputy First Minister told this newspaper: “I don’t know anything about the Enniskillen bomb; the Enniskillen bomb was a terrible tragedy, and my heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones.
“Tom himself was a former member of the Ulster Defence Regiment, maybe the Royal Irish Regiment, I don’t know, I don’t really care. The reality is that at some stage people are going to have to decide that the contributions that people like myself and Gerry Adams make to peace are worthwhile contributions, and if they are then I think there is a huge responsibility on people like Tom Elliott to wise up,” said Mr. McGuinness.